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It’s A Long Way To Donington…

Posted on February 12, 2008

It’s 3pm Friday afternoon, the day before Download. Frantic phone calls abound between Chimaira’s tour manager, booking agent, and Roadrunner offices. The band are playing a show tonight in Holland, with an onstage time of 10:30pm. Spineshank, tour bus & travelling companions, to play after. Gear to be loaded out after that. Chimaira are set to play Download at 11:10am Saturday morning. It’s a 12 hour trip from Holland. 6pm, Friday. Options being considered: cancelling the show in Holland, cancelling the appearance at Download, moving stage times, taking plane flights and travelling separately, borrowing equipment, getting a police escort… 6:30pm: The club in Holland moves stage times forward, enabling the bands to depart for England that crucial bit earlier. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Saturday. It’s just before 10am, day one of the Download Festival at Donington. Chimaira have arrived safe and sound in good time and are shortly to take to the stage for a 30 minute set in the Scuzz tent. The band are twitchy, worrying that their onstage time of 11:10am means everyone will be asleep in their tents, and noone will have got up to watch them play. 15 minutes before stage time, the band peek into the tent, and note there’s maybe 20 people there. 15 minutes later, there’s several thousand. Mark, Chimaira’s singer, is pacing around unable to stay still, and is so nervous he actually vomits before even taking the stage. Cut to 12pm. The band are done. Explosive versions of old & new Chimaira classics have been delivered, and the band are hot, sweaty, and exhilarated. Rob, Chimaira’s guitarist, appears in the guest area with a big ass grin. “Oh. My. God.” he exclaims. “That was the best show I’ve ever had.”


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